SEOUL – A high-level North Korean delegation, including the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, arrived in Seoul on Friday to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.
The 22-member delegation, led by the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim Yong-nam, arrived at the Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, in a private plane around mid afternoon and were received by South Korean Unification Minister, Cho Myoung-gyon and other officials.
The delegation is also set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during this historic visit to the South, which marks the first visit of a member of the Kim dynasty – Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong – to the South.
The delegation is expected to travel by train to PyeongChang County, located some 180 kilometers (114.8 miles) from Seoul, for the Winter Games opening ceremony at 8:00 pm on Friday.
Kim Yong-nam, is also scheduled to attend a dinner – which will also be attended by United States Vice President, Mike Pence, and Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, among other leaders – hosted by Moon on the sidelines of the Games, according to Seoul’s presidential office.
The North Korean delegation will get back to Seoul on Saturday for a lunch-meeting with Moon, likely in his presidential office, and will return home on Sunday.
Kim Yong-nam is North Korea’s highest-ranking official to visit the South officially, while Kim Jong-un’s sister, the deputy director of the Single Party Propaganda and Agitation Department of Workers’ Party, is considered to be a powerful figure in the regime and very close to Kim Jong-un.
The meeting scheduled to take place on Saturday in Seoul between Moon and North Korea’s delegation comes after a long gap.
The two Koreas – who have been technically at war since the 1950s – have held two inter-Korean summits, in 2000 and 2007, both in Pyongyang.